I'm sure you folks remember this little stunt the House GOP tried to pull early in the shutdown crisis. You know, when the GOP chose eight House Reps as "negotiators," put them in a room opposite empty chairs and took photos to show they were "ready to negotiate" unlike that Obama? Well, as anyone with a brain could have guessed, the stunt was a disaster and not just because it reminded folks of Clint Eastwood's Harvey act at the convention. No, a big reason was because of this:
Republicans chose eight middle-aged, far-right white guys, most of whom are from the south, and lined them up next to each other. When they promoted the photo, GOP officials never stopped to notice that everyone in the room looked remarkably similar to one another.Again, how's the diversity outreach going, Reince?
But fear not! Now that the GOP is entering the budget talks mandated by the shutdown deal, they have actually found someone who doesn't look like either an extra from Mad Men or a rep from the White Citizen's Council circa 1955:
Second-term Rep. Diane Black was chosen last week to sit at the conference table alongside three senior lawmakers, a surprise pick that will catapult the Tennessee Republican into her highest-profile role yet.Black is a largely unknown congresswoman, just one of the many elected in 2010. So what are her qualifications for the job? Damned if she knows:
In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Black said Speaker John A. Boehner called her early in the day on Oct. 16 to ask if she’d be interested in the position, but she didn’t know it was a done deal until later that night.
Black couldn’t say why exactly the Ohio Republican chose her to serve on the prestigious panel tasked with producing a budget by Dec. 13. She speculated that it had something to do with her proven track record in the Tennessee state House and Senate, her training as a nurse and her experience in the business community.Nice try, Black. But one of your fellow GOP sisters (maybe unhappy that she wasn't the token female chosen) gives away the game:
Rep. Renee Ellmers, chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, said Black’s appointment was in part because of the fallout over the image of the original men’s club of House GOP negotiatorsWell, at least she's honest.
This is getting to be a habit for the House GOP, by the way. Remember last November, when all their chosen committee chairs were white guys and they had to scramble to give Michigan's Candice Miller chairmanship of Administration? (Which was a committee, by the way, that she wasn't a member of?) Or the infamous February hearing on contraceptions, where Darrell Issa called in an all-male panel to testify? Sorry guys, but one token woman for cosmetic purposes isn't going to hide things.
I'll let Steve Benen sum it up:
The good news, Republican leaders seem to recognize the need to scramble, working around the issue that their conference is dominated by middle-aged white men. The bad news is, Republican leaders have to keep scrambling, because their conference is dominated by middle-aged white men.Can't hide what you are, GOP: A bunch of aging, pasty, mostly Southern white guys. And one alcoholic Oompa-Loompa prone to crying jags. But's that not much from a diversity standpoint.